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By March 2011, the Ministry of National Security hopes to relocate the island’s 347 juveniles who are currently being housed in adult correctional facilities to the newly refurbished Metcalfe Street centre for juveniles. 

The Minister of National Security, Sen. the Hon. Dwight Nelson made the announcement this morning at the PSOJ’s Chairman’s Club forum as a part of its presentation on National Security advances for 2011. 

In an extensive presentation, the Minister also indicated that quite a number of security related legislation have finally been approved and will take the country much closer towards its goals of reducing crime in all areas. 

Following consultations with the island’s three major mobile networks, the Mandatory Registration of Subscriber Information (MRSI) legislation has been approved and has now gone to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel, CPC, for drafting. 

Minister Nelson said once drafted, this provision will see all Jamaicans being required by law to complete a registration process when purchasing cellular phones and SIM cards.

He said this registration process and the data it provides will help to eradicate the ordering of hits by prisoners using cellular phones from behind bars.

The Minister also pointed out that the DNA bill has also been approved and sent to the CPC for drafting. 

Once the bill is finalised, it will help to address investigations into crimes, including sexual offences so that law enforcement agencies can be assured without a shadow of a doubt that guilty persons are convicted.

As a part of the Ministry’s overall crime fighting plan, the highly anticipated Anti-Gang legislation has also received approval and this too is currently being drafted.

The Minister describes this as a very tough legislation which will be passed to enhance the ability of law enforcement agencies to dismantle gangs and gang leaders and separate them from the communities.   

The Minister also pointed to additional efforts that were being pursued to reduce crime. He indicated that the National Security Policy is being updated with areas that need to be addressed.  A broad based approach has also been taken and meetings have been held with the PSOJ and members of academia to facilitate greater collaboration in addressing the national security policy. 

According to the Minister, increased use of technology also ranks high on the Ministry’s agenda and in addition to the recent opening of the JCF’s polygraph testing unit; the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) and the Integrated Ballistic Identification system (IBIS) have been upgraded.